Tuesday, July 22, 2008

WFMW - Kids don't have to be entertained to sit still and quiet!

Ever tried to get a little boy to sit still in church... without the use of toys, crayons, and other entertaining things that are both silent and small?

Yeah, me too.

Not so easy, at least in my experience.

But through trial, error, and much blog reading, we have found something that Works for Us!

Dale will be 5 in August and is already reading very well. To help him
1 - keep busy during the sermon
2 - hear what is being said during the sermon,

I came up with this form for him to fill in:

I listed a few words that I felt were most likely and commonly used, and then left blanks for several more words. I print one every Sunday morning before we leave. (I suppose I could *gasp* plan ahead! and have several printed up and waiting to go... but hey. One thing at a time here.)
When the pastor gets started and I get the gist of what he's going to be teaching on, I fill in the blank spaces with other likely-to-be-used words. Since these change from week to week they keep the 'game' interesting. (For the record, Greg did the 'filling in' this week, and that is his handwriting above.) ;)

Dale then puts one check mark each time he hears one of the listed words mentioned. He has caught on and does really great most weeks. It doesn't always hold his attention for a full 25 minute sermon, but it does get him a good bit of the way through it. And I love seeing him light up at what is being said, and I know that he is listening and hearing!

And THAT (and the being still and quiet... or mostly still and quiet) Works for Me! Be sure and click the link to head over to
Rocks in my Dryer to see lots of helpful hints from all sorts of bloggers! :)


Erin said...

What a lovely idea! I use to take colouring books to church as a child and it set me up for the feeling that sermons are long and best ignored - neither which are thoughts I want children to have.
I'll keep this in mind for the future.

Kaye said...

This is a great idea! I remember being so very bored in "big church." Awesome idea, Mom!

brightleigh said...

This is tremendous--I have a 2 1/2 year old son and we recently introduced sticker books to him for church. They would occupy him for the first part of church at least until he dismissed for the children's program. I will definitely try this when he gets a little older. Thank you!

Jeni said...

What a great idea! My girlie is too young for this, but I'll try to keep it in mind for later!

Anonymous said...

This is a darling idea that I will definitely keep in mind for my future children; thank you and God bless!

Anonymous said...

Great tip! Now if I can just get them to read!

Heather said...

Ingenious! Now all I need is for BB to be able to read... Maybe I can use pictures?

Robyn said...

Oh, thank you for this! My son is just starting to be able to read and gets very bored during mass. I've told him to look for certain things around the church, listen to the homily and count how many times the priest says Jesus, etc. I never thought to take it further with a list that he can work with. It's like a challenge, he will LOVE this!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea. I have a 7 yr. old that has a hard to being still in church. I am going to try this.

Muthering Heights said...

That is an AMAZING idea!!!!

Mommy said...

What wonderful idea!!! I'll have to use it. Thanks!

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

Great idea!! I have to find some pictures so we can try this next week.